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Leeds Quarry Hill To Be Transformed Into Exciting New Neighbourhood
The six-acre Quarry Hill area of Leeds is about to receive a serious facelift thanks to Wetherby-based family business Caddick Developments and property giant Caddick Group – so expect to see lots of construction scaffolding popping up in the near future.
Quarry Hill itself has a very rich history, so it’ll be interesting to see how this new development ties in with what has gone before. In the 1600s, plague cabins were built on the site far outside the city boundaries. People with the plague were sent off to these cabins to prevent the spread of infection.
Come Georgian times, Quarry Hill had become a very fashionable spa area that people would visit to take to the waters, which were very high in sulphur and thought to help with the likes of rheumatism and rickets. It’s thought that Quarry Hill is actually one of the oldest inhabited areas of Leeds. Extensive building was carried out in the late 18th century and by the 1830s, it was both unsanitary and overcrowded – so diseases like cholera were rife.
By 1910, the decision had been made to clear the slums and rebuild the area, with the Quarry Hill Flats ready for inhabitation by 1938. Apparently, the flats in this part of the city were modelled on the Karl Marx Hof flats found in Vienna – the biggest housing scheme in the UK at the time.
During the second world war, Quarry Hill Flats were damaged and a gas main severed – resulting in a fire so severe that the stained glass windows in St Peter’s Church actually melted!
Now, Quarry Hill has become the cultural quarter of Leeds following a major redevelopment of the area. You can now find Yorkshire Arts, The West Yorkshire Playhouse and Leeds College of Music here.
And it’s set to enjoy even more of a revival thanks to Caddick Developments, which will be investing £300 million to regenerate the historic site. New bars, restaurants and hotel-style apartments all look set to be built, as well as some of the biggest public green spaces to be found in the entire city centre. The hope is that music events and outdoor theatre will soon become a real feature, with local artists and bands all flocking here to perform.
The new district will be called SOYO (SOuth of YOrk Road), inspired by some of the most desirable neighbourhoods to be found around the world – including the East Village in New York and San Francisco’s SoMa district.
“Building on the vast cultural heritage of this area is something that has been central to the SOYO plan from day one. Our high quality public realm will provide a much-needed pedestrianised area in the city centre for the city’s residents to enjoy all year round, which is key in developing a strong community feel,” managing director of Caddick Developments Myles Hartley said.
An accompanying website, newspaper and social media channels are due to be launched where people can find out all about local activities and events… so keep your eyes well peeled.